Inpatient Vs Outpatient Drugs & Alcohol Detox Treatment

Before starting an addiction treatment program, you first need to go through some form of inpatient or outpatient detox treatment.

What Is A Detoxification Program?

Detoxification is the first step in the rehab process. During detox, drugs, alcohol, and their toxins are flushed from your body. This means that you may undergo withdrawal symptoms as your body rids itself with the harmful toxins from alcohol and drugs.

Detoxification has the following objectives:

  • To relieve the immediate withdrawal symptoms
  • To help patients achieve a stable, substance-free state
  • To diagnose and treat any co-occurring medical or mental health conditions.
  • To get the patient ready to enter long-term alcohol or drug addiction treatment

A good detox program has the following elements:

  1. Evaluation

The first day you report for detox, you’re likely to undergo an evaluation. This involves a physical exam to determine the levels of alcohol or drugs in your system. It also involves an interview where the addiction treatment experts will ask about your life and drug or alcohol use. This helps determine what kind of withdrawal symptoms to expect, as well as determine which treatment options are suitable for you.

  1. Stabilization

After evaluation, the next stage in the detox process is stabilization. Here you have started going through detox and are experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Medical personnel will assist you as your body flushes out toxins and achieves medical stability. You may be given medication to help ease your withdrawal symptoms.

  1. Preparation for Treatment

Since detoxification is the first step in the addiction treatment process, you’ll also be prepared to enter a long-term drug or alcohol addiction treatment program. This may involve getting counseling and some education on addiction and its dangers

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Detoxification Programs

When preparing to go into a detox program, you need to consider whether an inpatient or outpatient program will be more suitable for you. The one you choose depends on your unique treatment and recovery needs as well as the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Detox Treatment

This takes place inside a treatment facility on a residential basis. Once you’re admitted into an inpatient detox program, you stay at the facility and leave once you complete the program. During your stay, you will be under medical supervision where your withdrawal symptoms are monitored. You will also be given medication to ease some of these symptoms and to make the detoxification process more tolerable. This type of detox is suitable for those experiencing severe or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms e.g. alcohol addicts going through delirium tremens. On average, it takes about 5-14 days to complete an inpatient detox program.

Pros of Inpatient Detox

Inpatient detox comes with the following advantages:

  • It is the best form of detox for those with severe withdrawal symptoms or medical complications because they will be under constant medical care and supervision.
  • It is ideal for those who come from disruptive homes or those who face temptation at home because they can get away from these negative environments.
  • You get to detox in a serene environment that is conducive to your recovery.
  • You get to leave your life behind for a while and this provides relief from everyday stress, allowing you to focus fully on getting better.
  • Depending on the detox facility, you can have access to some nice amenities e.g. a spa or pool or even yoga or art classes.

Cons of Inpatient Detox

Inpatient detox has the following disadvantages:

  • Inpatient detox programs typically cost more than outpatient ones. However, insurance may cover some of the cost of treatment. Some rehab facilities also provide different payment plans for clients to help them meet the cost of treatment.
  • Inpatient detox programs may lead to relapse especially when the patient returns home to a disruptive life full of the temptations that led them to drink or use drugs. This is why it is important to include the whole family in the treatment process.
  • It disrupts your schedule. Taking time off work or leaving your family can be disruptive and you’ll need to take time off work and make childcare arrangements.

Outpatient Detox Treatment

This involves traveling to the hospital or treatment facility daily for the detox sessions where you’ll be monitored and given medication. Outpatient detox is suitable for those who have mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. Typical sessions last anywhere from 30 -60 minutes and completing the outpatient detox program may take 3-14 days. This depends on your physical condition as well as the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.

Pros of Outpatient Detox

  • You can continue with your life as you attend detox sessions. This means you can continue going to work or meeting your family responsibilities throughout treatment.
  • Outpatient detox is less expensive than inpatient detox because you don’t have to pay for accommodation or board.
  • You have access to your social support system of friends and family as you undergo detox.
  • In most cases, outpatient detox lasts for a shorter duration and is less time-consuming than inpatient detox.

Cons of Outpatient Detox

  • There is a higher risk of relapse because patients are still exposed to the negative environment that contributed to their addiction and they may still have access to drugs or alcohol.
  • Outpatient detox is not easy for those who don’t have a robust support system at home.
  • It may be difficult for some to travel to the treatment facility daily and to keep all the appointments. This means some patients may fail to complete the detox program.
  • It is not suitable for those experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms or those with life-threatening illnesses and complications e.g. gastrointestinal bleeding, hallucinations, or tremors, among others.

Take the First Step Toward Recovery

Don’t let the debate between inpatient and outpatient detox keep you from seeking help. The Findlay Recovery Center in Ohio is ready to offer you the help and support you need when going through detox. Contact us today and our addiction treatment experts will be happy to discuss your detox options to find out which one is better for you.

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